ESPN announced Sunday disciplinary action imposed on three employees for three separate incidents of racial-insensitivity related to the company’s coverage of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.
The employee responsible for the “Chink in the Armor” headline that ran on ESPN.com’s mobile site after the Knicks lost the Hornets on Friday night has been fired. New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has been the subject of an incredible amount of coverage. (AP Photo)
ESPN on Saturday apologized for that headline, plus a similar reference made last week by ESPNews anchor Max Bretos. Bretos, who uttered the phrase “chink in the armor,” perhaps with no ill-intent, while interviewing Knicks television analyst Walt Frazier, has been suspended for 30 days, ESPN announced.
Bretos apologized via Twitter and said he did not mean to offend anyone.
“Wanted 2 apologize 2 all those I have upset. Not done with any racial reference. Despite intention,phrase was inappropriate in this context,” Bretos tweeted.
“My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community,” he added.
ESPN said it has been made aware of a third incident, which occurred on ESPN Radio, but the radio commentator is not an ESPN employee.
“We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin,” ESPN’s statement says. “His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN. Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future.”
On Sunday, Lin said he had moved on. “ESPN had apologized, and I don’t think it was on purpose or whatever,” Lin said.
“At the same time, they apologized and I don’t care anymore. I have to learn to forgive and I don’t even think that was intentional.”
Lin also used his postgame press conference to ask members of the media back in Taiwan, where his grandmother and some of his other relatives live, to respect their privacy.
“One special request I have is for the media back in Taiwan to kind of give them their space, because they can’t even go to work without being bombarded and people following them,” he said. “And so, I just want people to respect the privacy my relatives in Taiwan. Hopefully, this will get back to everyone.”